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Title: Decoupling of mechanical properties and ionic conductivity in supramolecular lithium ion conductors

The emergence of wearable electronics puts batteries closer to the human skin, exacerbating the need for battery materials that are robust, highly ionically conductive, and stretchable. Herein, we introduce a supramolecular design as an effective strategy to overcome the canonical tradeoff between mechanical robustness and ionic conductivity in polymer electrolytes. The supramolecular lithium ion conductor utilizes orthogonally functional H-bonding domains and ion-conducting domains to create a polymer electrolyte with unprecedented toughness (29.3 MJ m−3) and high ionic conductivity (1.2 × 10−4S cm−1at 25 °C). Implementation of the supramolecular ion conductor as a binder material allows for the creation of stretchable lithium-ion battery electrodes with strain capability of over 900% via a conventional slurry process. The supramolecular nature of these battery components enables intimate bonding at the electrode-electrolyte interface. Combination of these stretchable components leads to a stretchable battery with a capacity of 1.1 mAh cm−2that functions even when stretched to 70% strain. The method reported here of decoupling ionic conductivity from mechanical properties opens a promising route to create high-toughness ion transport materials for energy storage applications.

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Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Nature Publishing Group
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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